I love getting crafty around the holidays, especially when it comes to making gifts. It’s my one artistic outlet – and a great way to get stuff done while keeping my 5-year-old entertained. The key is, it has to be cheap, quick and easy.
Here are some examples of cool, handmade holiday gifts and décor I’ve seen this past year, made especially for – and by – my favorite gardeners.
Re-purposed silverware garden wind chimes
My cousin and her 7-year-old son, made these with beads, fishing line, old silverware and a silver bowl.
They just used pliers to bend pieces into whimsical art and a drill to make any needed holes. You can often find interesting old pieces of silver at yard sales or thrift stores. I placed the chimes in our garden and the sound they make as the wind blows through them is delightful. Around my house, this has given new meaning to the phrase “Hide the silverware!”
Just grab a fishbowl or any other glass container for a quick-hit holiday gift. I use a few sections of house plants that I’ve divided or rooted, tuck them into some damp soil, and decorate with some landscaping stones from around my deck. Moss makes a nice addition too. If you have a kid, they can also create a mini or fairy garden for one of their friends, adding in tiny toys or figurines.
Natural materials make wonderful gift wreaths
Got old, dried hydrangea blooms or extra herbs? Hydrangea blooms can be glued onto a foam ring and spray painted gold. You can then add accents like seedpods, acorns or other natural materials. I’ve made a few of these for neighbors as holiday gifts. It doesn’t just work with hydrangeas, though. Any dried botanical material you can forage looks good when clustered in quantity and made into wall art. You can also glue pine cones, acorns, cross-sections of large, dried pithy stems or seedpod clusters onto a picture frame (after taking out the glass) to create a wreath. The materials can be spray painted, glittered or just left natural. If gold or glitter isn’t your style, using U pins, you can also affix a selection of perennial herbs and dried flowers around a straw wreath base to create a simple herb wreath that can be used outdoors or hung in the kitchen. This works best if you create the wreath when the herbs are still fresh and pliable.
Whimsical Gardening Gifts
Create a unique gift for any gardener in your life by supplementing a gift certificate for a favorite garden center, workshop or class with some whimsical garden tools to make a decorative statement. For a gardening friend I took two tried garden tools in my shed, painted them a festive green and red and added a dab of hot glue and a hook so they could easily adorn her garden shed. Combine that with a gift certificate to a local workshop I know she’ll love attending – and I’ve got the perfect home made gift.
Well, that’s all for now. Gotta go get my pliers!